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Showing posts from August, 2007

Back from the beach....

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...and here some of my latest:

Dangerous Delusions
Commentary by Leon Hadar | August 15, 2007

IRC Right Web rightweb.irc-online.org

A television adaptation of Nebula Award-winning author John Kessel's short story "A Clean Escape," which aired on ABC's new sci-fi anthology series titled Masters of Science Fiction, is set in a post-Apocalypse future, but it reminded me of current events. Psychiatrist Deanna Evans interrogates a distinguished but disoriented man who appears to be suffering from a memory lapse. After a climactic buildup, it is revealed—and this is a spoiler alert, if you don't want the story ruined—that he is the U.S. president, responsible for a global nuclear holocaust. They are two of a few hundred survivors of a nuclear war that resulted from the president's decision to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against a "rogue nation." Yet, not remembering what happened, he is unable to acknowledge his role or to take responsibilit…

Blaming Greenspan

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Business Times - 09 Aug 2007

Critics rap Greenspan for housing mess

They blame former Fed chief's rate policies for creating a false boom in sub-prime loans

AS the US housing market weakens and interest rates on adjustable mortgage rates rise and more and more borrowers are falling behind, the consensus among economists is that a sector that was once considered vulnerable is now on the verge of suffering a collapse in many regions in the country.

Some analysts warn that the real estate in certain expensive bubble areas could drop by as much as 40 or 50 per cent. Daily newspapers as well as television news shows are covering the widespread defaults on sub-prime mortgages and the sad personal stories involving home foreclosures.

It's still possible that the real estate bubble will not burst completely (in Manhattan you'll be lucky to get a studio apartment for US$500,000), but Americans, led by their lawmakers and pundits, are already looking for someone to blame.

On one leve…

U.S. in East Asia

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A few days ago, I was chatting with an East Asian diplomat stationed in Washington who seemed surprised that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would be skipping the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Regional Forum meeting in Manila later this week.

The ARF brings together 27 foreign ministers representing the 10 Southeast Asian nations, and 17 other governments with security interests in the region. Rice instead will travel to the Middle East, where she will hold discussions on stabilizing Iraq in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and visit Israel and the West Bank. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte will represent the U.S. in Manila.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack expressed regret that Rice would not be in Manila, but said that she was "prioritizing" talks on Iraq and Middle East peace. "I don't think it has to do with the importance of the business necessarily, but of the timing," he said of the ARF meeting.

I reminded the East Asian diplomat …